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The difference between 'equality' and 'sameness'


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"The current percentage of female CEOs is 7.2%! Until that number reaches 50%, women and men are still not equal." 

Gender Balance image:acidlabs"But women will never be equal to men, because women biologically dissimilar to men!" 

We have reached a dead end in the discussion regarding equality. What both these arguments fail to understand is the difference between 'equality' and 'sameness'.

Men and women are not the same. The data showing the variation between the sexes is extensive and conclusive. Our measure of social equality needs to move away from measuring men and women squarely against each other. We are not the same and never will be. 

A five pound note has the exact same value as five one pound coins. They look different, they feel different, they are made out different stuff, but they are, nonetheless, equal. Not the same, but equal. 

Much modern feminism fails to understand this key point, and falls into the trap of pursuing an impossible sameness between men and women. This is actually counter-productive, as it allows evidence on the differences between men and women to be used as anti-feminist and anti-equality rhetoric. 

The inherent biological differences cannot be ignored in the conversation. Research into these differences between the sexes has been widely explored with conclusive findings.

Listing the variations between men and women here is hardly relevant. We know them. They've been told, exaggerated and sensationalised every week in the Daily Mail.

Despite the regular practice of skewing scientific data to sell shocking headlines, and to justify anti-feminism, the base research cannot and should not be ignored. Neither should biological difference be the basis for subjection. Again, like with the five pound note analogy, difference is not the same as inequality 

Of course, even with evidence explaining how men and women vary, not all people fit into these dichotomies. We have seen recently, especially in 2015, the so-called 'Year of the Trans', a move towards a more fluid spectrum way of placing gender.

The sexing of men and women is on most occasion, fundamental. Boy to girl birth ratios remain around 50%, with a 1.05 ratio inclination towards boys. Gender, however is no longer shackled to the idea that men are masculine and women feminine. The strict gender binaries of men and women have loosened, and many feel more able to be far more expressive about their natural gender position. 

Gender and sex should not be confused. Although a more fluid and inclusive definition of gender has come into play, conclusive evidence from scientific study citing the differences between the sexes still applies, and should not be ignored, because it seems inconvenient to address. 

But it is not inconvenient. It may seem a tired practice, but there is no room for glossing over of such vital evidence in the search for equality. 

If we are ever going to reverse out of this deadend in the argument to find a route to equality, we much distinguish between sex and gender, equality and sameness.

Differences between men and women should not be shunned into silence, nor sensationalised to prove a sexist point. They must be discussed and used, in order to create a finally an equal society so long overdue.

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